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  #1  
Old Thu 11 November 2010, 21:42
tjskmm
Just call me: tjsk
 
CA
United States of America
Thought on milling rails . . .

I was planning an 80/20 build, but it looks like a MM style machine will be needed for my application. I have not done any real metal work in the past (tack welds with an arc welder and cutting with an acetylene torch) so I have been shying away from a project like this. I have a neighbor that offered to do any welding I may need, so that problem (excuse ) is now solved.

I've been reading the threads on grinding and milling the angle iron rails. If the rails can be milled, couldn't a table router with the correct bit be used? It seems simple enough to set the fence and router height to mill the correct angle.

If a v-bit cannot be used and a milling bit is required, it should be easy to set up a jig to position the angle iron correctly. Even multiple passes should only require adjusting the fence and router height.

A jig would be needed to flip the angle iron over to make the inside cut, but that would be simple enough to do.

It seems this way you could cut your rails to length and mill the entire rail with no waste.

Is this possible, or am I just too much of an iron worker noob to know this won't work?
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  #2  
Old Thu 11 November 2010, 23:06
Codered741
Just call me: Cody
 
Lititz (Pennsylvania)
United States of America
Problems

So there are a couple of problems here. Your ordinary router spins far too fast to cut steel (8000rpm), for your vbit you would need a machine that would spin at about 500rpm, depending on the diameter.
The second problem is keeping the angle iron firmly seated into the bit, and feeding it slowly and at the same speed for the length of the rail (10-12').
So if you could slow your router down, feed it slowly, and steadily into the bit, you would still need a way to keep the bit cool, meaning coolant.

Building #58, I found the rail grinding process to be fairly easy, once the skate was setup properly.

I suppose you could, if you just dont want to use the skate, you could use the table saw method Gerald suggested for the Z-slide, but that seems really scary to me... and you still have several of the same problems, feeding evenly and aligned.

Just my 2c...

-Cody
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  #3  
Old Thu 11 November 2010, 23:32
mrghm
Just call me: Gareth
 
Syd
Australia
your method could work if using alloy rails only issue is the router table would need a long in / out feed table to keep work level and true.
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  #4  
Old Thu 11 November 2010, 23:59
tjskmm
Just call me: tjsk
 
CA
United States of America
Another question prompted by Codered741's reply:
What speed should I be using to cut these angles and what bit?
I am a wood worker, not a metal worker.
I can set up my table router in a few minutes - a tool many of us DIYers already have, but building the skate would require a lot of time for a 1 off application (by the way - I think the skate designs are an awesome tool. Kudos to the inventive people that created them!)
I agree with Codered741 - some of the methods make me too nervous - I still have all my fingers and want to keep it that way! Plus the wear on a grinding and/or cutting disk can be more difficult to get a satisfactory result.

Many years ago I came to the conclusion that there are people out there that know more than me and can do things better than I can. With all the brain power on this forum, we should be able to figure out a way to make the table router idea work.
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  #5  
Old Fri 12 November 2010, 02:40
danilom
Just call me: Danilo #64
 
Novi Sad
Serbia
This is the way I did them, mill has 800mm bed so I had to do every side in couple of runs.

If I had two of these cutters time to make would be twice shorter.

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  #6  
Old Fri 12 November 2010, 03:16
jwt
Just call me: John
 
Wexford
Ireland
If grinding the rails is an issue maybe look at linear rails.

www.automation-overstock.com did me a good deal.

But there are unforeseen issues like you have no easy way to mount the rack for the pinion so you'll be drilling and tapping it to the side of the rail with spacers, the motors are now lower on the Y gantry etc

In my case despite best effort at estimating where the centre of the motor was and thus where the top of the pinion would be, I still ended up having to relocate the motor pivot to drop the motor down 10-12mm, it was that or have to redo drilling and tapping the holes in the main beam to support me rack a little higher.

I may still end up doing that if I'm not happy with the result as moving the pivot hole means the arc on the motor plate is wrong. I could slot the matching hole on the end plate but its more messing all starting to get very messy

John


John
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  #7  
Old Fri 12 November 2010, 16:08
Codered741
Just call me: Cody
 
Lititz (Pennsylvania)
United States of America
an option

You could use your router table to do aluminum rails, quite easily, just spray some WD-40 on the bit every couple of inches. But to do steel rails, you would still need either a very small bit, or a very slow router.

The Skate that comes with the kit is very easy to assemble and is convertible to go from cutting them down to grinding the bevels. And it is already designed and well documented, with dozens of successful uses.

-Cody
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  #8  
Old Fri 12 November 2010, 17:34
tjskmm
Just call me: tjsk
 
CA
United States of America
Quote:
Originally Posted by Codered741 View Post
The Skate that comes with the kit is very easy to assemble and is convertible to go from cutting them down to grinding the bevels. And it is already designed and well documented, with dozens of successful uses.

-Cody

What kit?
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  #9  
Old Fri 12 November 2010, 17:46
Codered741
Just call me: Cody
 
Lititz (Pennsylvania)
United States of America
Kit

The kit of laser cut parts.
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  #10  
Old Fri 12 November 2010, 17:59
smreish
Just call me: Sean - #5, 28, 58 and others
 
Orlando, Florida
United States of America
http://www.cvsupply.com/servlet/the-MechMate/Categories

link to the parts online with the forum owners website.

Just PM metalhead (mike) for details
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  #11  
Old Fri 12 November 2010, 21:07
tjskmm
Just call me: tjsk
 
CA
United States of America
Thanks for the kit info.

Found the skate parts in the CVSupply store, and found the pdf drawings in my downloaded plans. Although it is tempting to take the plans and fabricate my own skate, for the the cost of the laser cut parts I would prefer to buy them. The price is less than my cheapest milling bit, and I know I would probably burn up more than one if I mill the rails on a router. Also, I can't get my router (or shaper) to run as slow as 500 rpm.

I have nothing against grinding the rails instead of milling. I just didn't want to do the metal work, or take the design time, required to fab my own skate. The threads discussing the skate never mentioned a kit, or even a drawing, was available.

Thanks to everyone who put in their opinions and helped in this subject.
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  #12  
Old Sat 13 November 2010, 13:13
smreish
Just call me: Sean - #5, 28, 58 and others
 
Orlando, Florida
United States of America
TJSK,
IF you purchase the parts from the CV store, the skate comes with it. No need to purchase it separately.
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  #13  
Old Sat 13 November 2010, 18:21
tjskmm
Just call me: tjsk
 
CA
United States of America
Quote:
Originally Posted by smreish View Post
TJSK,
IF you purchase the parts from the CV store, the skate comes with it. No need to purchase it separately.
Not quite ready to dive into the MechMate build. Too many obstacles to overcome first, namely cost and space. In the meantime, I would like to try my hand at making the rail and bearing setup used here and use them to modify my current machine.

One of my clients may be willing to front me the cash for the new machine if it will improve my production time, so money may not be a problem soon. That leaves the problem of space. As soon as I get that figured out, I'll get started.
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  #14  
Old Sun 14 November 2010, 17:47
smreish
Just call me: Sean - #5, 28, 58 and others
 
Orlando, Florida
United States of America
...makes sense!
Good luck with your persuasive progress
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